DeKALB – Victoria “Vicki” Hale’s coworkers remember her as a tiny woman with a big smile who helped people who had been involved in serious crashes like the one that claimed her life.
Hale, 26, of the 800 block of Fotis Drive in DeKalb, crashed her Chevrolet Malibu into a tree in the 100 block of East Dresser Road about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, DeKalb police Cmdr. John Petragallo said Monday. Hale was alone in the car; police think alcohol was a factor.
Police found no witnesses to the crash, but a neighbor heard the impact and called 911, Petragallo said. Hale was pronounced dead at Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb.
Police interviewed several witnesses who said Hale had been drinking before the crash, but they have not received results of tests that would reveal her blood-alcohol level.
Hale, a single mother of a toddler, had worked as a certified nursing assistant at Kindred Hospital in Sycamore for about two years, her coworkers said. Kindred Hospital is a 69-bed transitional facility that specializes in long-term care for medically complex patients, according to its website.
Hale was a team player who was willing to pick up extra shifts and was taking college classes, fellow certified nursing assistant Andrea Finkboner said.
“She always looked at the bright side of things,” Finkboner said. “Her son meant the world to her.”
Another coworker, Geni Montgomery, remembered how thankful she was when people offered her rides when she had car trouble. She was quick to return the favor, too.
“She was always someone, if you needed help, she came and helped you,” Montgomery said. “She always had the biggest, sweetest smile.”